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HomeAustraliaNew Zealand teen honors mom with 'powerful haka' after graduation - WhatsNew2Day

New Zealand teen honors mom with ‘powerful haka’ after graduation – WhatsNew2Day


Exciting moment proud teen honors his mother with ‘powerful haka’ after she graduated from university: ‘Let the hairs stand on the back of your neck’

  • A teenager has honored his mother
  • He did the haka at her graduation
  • Video of the dance went viral

A 13-year-old Kiwi boy has paid respect to his mother by performing a surprise shaka at her graduation ceremony.

Footage shows Tawhiri Gorman at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in the Bay of Plenty region honoring his mother Irene as she received her undergraduate degree.

The viral vision has been viewed millions of times, with some social media followers saying “it will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.”

Tawhiri’s big sister Shay captioned the post, “My mom graduating her bachelor’s degree in social work and my little brother going to Tautoko the best way we know how.”

‘Very proud of you mama 4 very long and hard years have finally paid off!!’

Tawhiri (pictured) performed the rousing war dance at his mother’s graduation ceremony

The rousing tribute was met with astonishment and raucous applause from the crowd.

Irene dressed for the occasion in a traditional kākahu robe during the outdoor ceremony – a garment worn by Māoris to represent prestige and honor.

The video generated a slew of enthusiastic comments about the beauty of traditional Māori culture and the boy’s respect for his mother.

“That’s a boy with tremendous respect for his mother,” said one commenter.

‘Love this so much. So much respect for Māori culture,” wrote another.

‘The haka is such a beautiful but powerful gesture that makes the hairs of your arm or neck stand on end. It doesn’t matter which country you come from,” said a third.

“Seeing these get done always makes me so emotional! They are so powerful,” said another commenter.

“I can’t look at a haka without crying,” said another, while the vision caused another to “get goosebumps all over my body.”

Mother Irene received her bachelor's degree in social work from the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (pictured, during the graduation ceremony)

Mother Irene received her bachelor’s degree in social work from the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (pictured, during the graduation ceremony)

What is the Maori Haka

The haka is a ceremonial Māori war dance or challenge usually performed in a group.

It represents a representation of the pride, strength and unity of a Māori tribe.

Actions include foot stomping, tongue sticking out, and body beating rhythmically to accompany a loud chant.

The words of a haka often poetically describe ancestors and events in the history of the tribe.

Traditionally, the haka was performed when two parties met as part of the customs surrounding encounters.

For example, the haka was used on the battlefield to mentally and physically prepare warriors for battle, but it was also performed when groups came together in peace.

Today, haka is still used during ceremonies and celebrations to honor guests and show the importance of the occasion. This also applies to family events, such as birthdays, graduations, weddings, and funerals.

Haka is also used to challenge opponents on the sports field.

The All Blacks New Zealand rugby union team perform the haka before every game in a stunning display of strength and physical prowess.

Source: New Zealand Tourism

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